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During the events of the first Dead Space game, the Red Marker is transported from the cargo deck of the USG Ishimura to the planet below: Aegis VII. This is where (Altman's) Red Marker was originally found by the mining ship.

However, both Terrence Kyne and Isaac Clarke are under substantial influence by the marker, and both are convinced and assisted by the marker's hallucinations (Amelia Kyne and Nicole Brennan, respectively) to return it to the planet.

Only after Isaac somehow breaks free from the marker's influence on the surface (partly due to Kendra Daniels influence, the only one who appears unaffected by the marker), can he destroy the marker.

If the marker's goal is to spread, it should remain on the Ishimura, where it is most likely that more vessels arrive to investigate, and where the marker has a shot at getting to a place with more organism (e.g. Earth). The marker has a veritable army on the Ishimura. But clearly it is trying very hard to get to Aegis VII, by manipulating Kyne and Isaac. Why?

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    I haven't played the series, but the gist I'm getting is that the Markers have been through a few retcons over the course of the plot. – Radhil Feb 14 '18 at 13:16
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    Yes, they have a bit, but nothing that actually breaks other things. Also this is related to the plot of exactly one installation. I don't think Dead Space 1 is retconning itself. – bitmask Feb 14 '18 at 13:20
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    It's possible the Marker somehow knew the Ishimura wasn't safe in the mid to long term. The ship's asteroid shielding had failed and it was drifting close to an asteroid field. Alongside that, the military then made one failed attempt to destroy the ship (using the USM Valor), it's possible more threats would come, given the nature of the CEC's operation. – delinear Feb 14 '18 at 13:54
  • The plan to return the marker to the planet surfaced significantly after the point where Isaac et al. had repaired the ship's asteroid shielding. Aegis VII is a dead planet where nobody is even allowed to land, let alone recover artifacts. No, it doesn't add up. – bitmask Feb 14 '18 at 20:23
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From what I understand, the Hive Mind is the bad boy of the whole necromorph thing, and the Red Marker in AEGIS VII is the device that stops it, or at least puts the creature to sleep.

When they took the Marker to USG Ishimura, that is, away from the Hive Mind, it woke up and started spreading its infection again. The creature can control necromorphs through telepathy.

The Red Marker was created by humans (by Soverign Colonies), by reverse engineering the Black Marker found on earth years back. Through testing, the Red Marker was found to supress the necromorph infection by emiting a wave that they called "dead space".

While the Marker was known for supressing necromorphism, it also contained 'code' to cause necromorphism contagion.

The Black Marker creators are unknown, but are assumed to be aliens.

On my opinion, the aliens discovered the necromorph infection, knew it could be harmful to other lifeforms around the galaxy, and decided to create a device to stop it, known as a Marker. They put a Marker on earth (the Black Marker) so the infection would not have a chance to spread here, thus allowing humans to exist.

The reason the Marker causes hallucinations is because it tries to make the person to put it back to where it belongs, that is, close to the infection's source aka the Hive Mind.

All this I just wrote was about the DS1 lore (my understanding of it). In the following games they apparently retconned stuff, like, the Markers became the bad guys, and the Hive Mind was just a pawn controlled by the Brother Moons.

On DS2 and DS3 apparently, a Marker actually emits waves that causes the necromorph infection.

  • It would be great if you could back up your claim about the red marker with material from DS1 (or the franchise, for that matter). It is new to me that it "suppresses 'necromorphism'". – bitmask Sep 16 '18 at 16:12
  • Sources would be good here, agreed, but I think this answer is spot on. It meshes with what I remember from the game. The game's title (besides the obvious double meaning) refers to the "dead space" that the Marker generates, which suppresses necromorphism. It was only when the Red Marker was removed from Aegis VII that the outbreak started. – tobiasvl Sep 3 at 11:13

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